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How to play Scrabble on Facebook (old version)
- The New Version of Scrabble on Facebook (2013) - what's new and how to find your way around
The new version of Scrabble for Facebook was rolled out in early summer 2013. The rules are the same, but it has a whole new look. This article provides the lowdown on the game and new features.
Scrabble is a traditional board game, where players make words with letter tiles in a crossword style and try to win by scoring the most points. The game has been a popular parlour game ever since its creation in the 1940s, and there are worldwide Scrabble tournaments for more serious players. It is also available as an electronic game for the computer, and in recent years it has been developed as an app for Facebook, the social networking site, which has created a resurgence in interest for the game and has proved to be very popular.
A new version of this app has just been rolled out (May 2013) so the pictures and some of the instructions here may no longer be relevant. For features of the new version of Scrabble for Facebook please click on the link to the right. However, read on here for instructions and gameplay strategy.
Assuming you have a Facebook account, the first thing you need to do is to register for the Scrabble app. on Facebook. (There are two official versions, one for the USA and Canada, and another version for the rest of the world, so make sure you choose the right one for your region.) The app. will ask for permission to use your profile details such as name and picture, which are displayed publicly when you are playing. Further interaction and privacy settings can be tailored according to your wishes, including messages posted to your wall and email notifications. Once you have the application successfully installed on your account, click on the link to start playing.
You are greeted with a home page which displays your statistics and games in progress. The New Game button takes you to a page where you can choose the type of game you want to play, the number of players and skill level at which you wish to play. You will get to know your preferences after a few games, but if unsure start at beginner level and work your way up. The timer settings you can choose from are 2 or 5 mins, 1 day or 1 week - this indicates the length of time you are allowed for each turn, not the total length of the game. Bear in mind that an average game with 5 minute turns can last for about an hour. Choosing the longer options can mean that the game is spread over a few days if you don't have time to finish it in one sitting.
The Start Game button starts a new game and your icon will appear on a list of games that others can select to join. Alternatively, you can join a game from the list at the bottom of the screen. If you want to play with a friend that has the Scrabble app. you can choose them from the drop down menu that says "Add friend". Once you have made your choices you are ready to begin the game.
Playing the game
The player who started the game goes first, and must place their first word so that one of the letters falls on the pink centre square, and the first word gets double the number of points on the tiles. The second player must place their word so that it intersects or adjoins the first word on the board. for instance:
SCRABBLE M E
The game continues in this fashion until all the tiles are used up, and the player with the highest score is the winner.
If you have not played the game of Scrabble beforehand it is a good idea to familiarise yourself with the rules and instructions that are provided. Click on the question mark at the top of the board for the Help menu.
Advantages of playing Scrabble on Facebook
For beginners this is a great way to learn the game, as the electronic version will not let you make illegal moves or play incorrectly spelled words. It will also keep score for you, tell you how many tiles are left and includes a built-in dictionary with a full list of all the two-letter words that are allowed.
You can play people from all over the world, of all abilities, or choose to play with your friends over the internet. The built in chat facility allows you to chat with your opponent.
The timer means that if your opponent does not return to finish the game in their allotted time you have the option to skip their go or force them to forfeit, in which case you automatically win the game. (This can also be a disadvantage if you are the one who has run out of time!)
Disadvantages of playing on Facebook
If you choose to play strangers, as most people do, you are putting yourself at risk of meeting unsavory characters. Sometimes you see indecent or provocative pictures in the list of games that are waiting to be joined - these are usually the ones that are not really there to play Scrabble, so beware! Occasionally you may start a game, and one of these people may choose to join you and then proceed to make indecent or creepy suggestions. You can choose to hide chat events, quit the game, or use the button to report abuse if necessary.
Be aware that your Facebook security settings also apply in the game. Your opponent can click on your picture and see your public profile, so if you don't want to share your personal details with the world, make sure you have your security set to maximum!
I must stress, however, that 99.9% of people that I have played have been very proper, and often quite friendly in a non-creepy way!
Tips on scoring
The aim of the game is to score the most points, so here are a few tips on maximising your scores.
- Make use of the coloured squares on the board, these either double or triple letter and word scores
- Try to use high scoring letters such as the Z or X on squares that double or triple the letter score
- If you can place a word alongside another word so that adjoining letters make extra words you will score for each word that you make in that go
- Using all 7 of your letter tiles in one turn will earn you a 50 point bonus, known as a "Bingo", in addition to the score for the word. (see screenshot for an example)
- Use the built-in dictionary to check words before you play them. This also helps to improve your spelling and vocabulary!
Have you ever played Scrabble on Facebook?
Whether you are a seasoned player, or an interested novice, I hope you have found this article useful, and that you enjoy playing Scrabble as much as I do!
Please feel free to leave comments or your own tips in the space provided below.